HandPans Magazine - The PANArt Hang, HandPan, and Hank Drum Explored

Welcome to HandPans Magazine. A place where like you, we're very much interested in all things Hang, Hank Drum, and HandPan related. Our mission, if we have one other than documenting our own interest in, and love for these beautiful instruments, is to try and offer useful information regarding these singing steel 'sound sculptures', right here on site. While at the same time pointing you towards more in-depth resources, instrument makers, artists, the latest news, and anything else that 'tickles us' too, elsewhere on the web.
We may not always get it right. But we can promise you this, we'll never shout at you for accidentally, or mistakenly calling the PANArt Hang a 'Hang Drum' (a big 'no-no' in certain circles), and that you'll always be welcome on this site, whether you're 'lucky' enough to be deemed to 'resonate', with PANArt's 'Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer' (and will possibly one day get to own, or already own a Hang), or not (because there's plenty of other great options out there for you too).

The HandPan SKILLZ of Adrian J Portia

If we were forced to name just one HandPan musician who has really blown us away in 2014, it would have to be, “Adrian J Portia”. And I’m pretty sure that we’re not alone in this.  His HandPan performances over at YouTube are both intensely inspiring, forcing you to reach for your own Pan in a bid to let loose the pure HandPan-Ninja energies that you know you must have absorbed while watching him in action, and then sorrowfully shame-inducing, when within minutes you realise having done so, that by comparison, you play like a bumbling-idiot.  Or maybe that’s just us. :)

We don’t know much about Adrian J Portia, other than that he rocks the HandPan like a badass, often sports a mohawk, and has his hometown listed as being: “AUSTRALIA”, on his facebook profile.

So, as we find it’s often best for us to do, we’re going to let the music of Adrian J Portia, speak for itself...

Adrian J Portia Playing BELLArt BElls:

Adrian Playing the Symphonette (from Dave's Island Instruments): 

Adrian Playing an AsaChan (from Echo Sound Sculpture):

To listen to more you can check out Adrian's YouTube channel: HERE, or go check out his Facebook page: HERE.

GuSkin - A Skinned Percussion Adaptation for HandPan

Here’s an interesting thing dreamed up, and designed by popular HandPan musician, ‘Kabeção Rodrigues’, called the ‘GuSkin’.  A device, that like the ‘Dum’ (a device originally sold by PANArt - the Hang makers), slots inside the ‘Gu’* to open up new sonic possibilities, for Hang, and HandPan.

However, while the Dum was intended to lower the Helmholtz resonance of the Hang, the GuSkin, once inserted, is designed to combine the qualities of more traditional skinned drums, with those of UFO-shaped singing steel - potentially opening up a whole new world of play - and/or certainly convenience, for traveller types, who could now transform their HandPan into an instrument with a more conventional percussive sound (eliminating the need to travel with multiple instruments).

A device like the GuSkin seems perfectly designed for enhancing vertical HandPan play.  And HandPan musician, Jacob Cole, has shown that this is so (see video).  And with more and more HandPan appearing now with notes on the bottom shell too, the promises of a device like the GuSkin are many and varied.  

One argument that was raised against the device when it was first demo’d over at Facebook was concern that the GuSkin would limit the Hang / HandPan's natural sonic qualities, blocking the sounds from the instruments internal resonance chamber.  Which seems likely, but is obviously a temporary trade-off, and a choice that each player can make depending upon the mood, and situation.  

At time of posting, the GuSkin is noted as being in prototype phase, and as such, is not available commercially for purchase.  But if you’re interested (and like us, don’t have the D.I.Y skills to try and knock one up yourself), you can follow Kabeção Rodrigues over at YouTube: HERE.  And await further development, and/or future release. 

* ‘Gu’ is the name given to the hole/port on the bottom of Hang, and while technically specific to only PANArt Hang, it has to a more or lesser degree been adopted for all HandPan makes, Some makers do though have their own names for the bottom port, Pantheon Steel (the makers of the Halo), for example, call this opening the, ‘Oculus’.

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